California surveyors find meager mountain snowpack

02/28/2012 07:03:00 PM
By The Grower Staff

California's snowpack continues to shrink when it should be growing, according to state snow surveys.

The state's snowpack historically peaks on April 1, after which time it starts to melt and decrease with rising temperatures.

Measurements taken the last week in February showed snowpack water content was only 30 percent of historic readings for that time of year.

Electronic readings from remote sensors in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains showed water content was 31 percent of normal for the date and 28 percent of April 1 seasonal average.

Electronic readings in the central Sierra showed 26 percent of normal, and in the southern Sierra, sensors showed 33 percent of average water content.

Mountain snowmelt into streams, reservoirs and aquifers typically accounts for about one third of the state's water.

The bright spot, according to a news release, is the reservoir storage carried over from last year.

Lake Oroville is at 100 percent of average for the date, Lake Shasta is at 94 percent and San Luis Reservoir is at 99 percent of average.

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